Everyone knows the portafilter machine from the cafe or restaurant. Usually these monstrous espresso machines that make our delicious coffees not only look very expansive, but are also quite noisy. But who has not played nevertheless already once with the thought to acquire itself such a machine for at home? But is it worthwhile at all to invest in a so-called portafilter machine and how do they work?? Or is also a normal coffee machine sufficient? The answer lies less in the realm of cool weighing of arguments and more in the sensual realm of fully enjoying coffee.
Coffee beans for portafilter machine
In this article
What is a portafilter actually?
Unlike fully automatic coffee machines, in a portafilter machine the coffee powder is poured into the portafilter, which gives it its name, and fixed directly under the brewing head. This means that the water is only passed through the powder for a very short time, which is particularly noticeable in the lack of bitters. Traditionally, this is the only true method of making an original Italian espresso. At least that is the argument of most baristas.
If you look further, you will learn that a portafilter machine allows you to set the brewing temperature precisely, which is of utmost importance in the fine art of coffee preparation.
The differences between single-circuit, dual-circuit and dualboilers
Among the portafilter machines, there are definitely some differences that should be considered when buying. These differ mainly in the possibilities of use and price. In general, a distinction is made between single-circuit, dual-circuit and dual-boiler machines.
- single-circuit espresso machines with only one single water circuit. This means that the water for the espresso as well as the steam for the milk comes from one circuit. According to this, there is only one boiler from which the water is taken. This boiler must always be filled manually with water, because there is no access to fresh water. Another aspect is that the steam for the milk foam must reach a higher temperature, so it takes a bit longer.
- With a Dual boiler this is no longer a problem. Here there are two water circuits, one for the espresso and one for the milk foam. Thus the waiting times are omitted here. If you like to drink cappuccino or latte macchiato, a two-circuit machine is definitely the better choice.
- The dual boiler has in contrast Two different water boilers, so that the water for the espresso and the cappuccino is even drawn from two kettles. This allows the machine to withstand temperature fluctuations over a long period of time.
For whom it is suitable?
If you are thinking of buying a portafilter machine, you should consider a few basic things in advance. First of all, it is important whether the new machine should be a pure espresso machine or rather a device for many uses. Accordingly, the dimensions and price usually change as well.
In addition, the investment should also be worthwhile. If you only drink an espresso now and then, it’s better to keep your hands off an expensive portafilter machine. However, if several people want to enjoy great coffees regularly, then a high-quality portafilter machine is not so unreasonable in the long term.
Finally, you can expect to save a lot of money, because you can do without frequent visits to the cafe. Every buyer of a real espresso machine is also advised to find out how to prepare the perfect espresso.
What to consider before buying a portafilter machine?
Also relevant is the question of which coffee is best suited for use. you can use any type of espresso for all portafilter machines. Ultimately, the quality of the coffee is the decisive factor for enjoyment. Coffee varieties that have been gently roasted and are of high quality ultimately decide on the taste of the coffee. When the best equipment meets well-founded knowledge, an espresso with its crema becomes a true delight.
Buying espresso for a portafilter machine
Which espresso machine suits me?
With the large selection of portafilter machines, it is not exactly easy to make a decision. Finally, the machines are not exactly cheap.
The choice of the right machine depends on personal taste and the area of application. If you attach much importance to an excellent taste of the real espresso, a High-quality portafilter machine the best choice. However, for those who want to drink a quick coffee without much effort, a Coffee machine or a Capsule machine better.
Advantages and disadvantages of portafilter machines versus fully automatic coffee machines
The main reasons why fully automatic coffee machines have become more popular in private households are obvious. On the one hand, the compact machines take up less space; on the other hand, some of them are significantly cheaper to purchase and often easier to clean. However, in terms of aroma and quality, pods and capsules cannot of course be compared with the enjoyment of an espresso from a portafilter. Therein, then, lies the crux of why individuals without gastronomic purposes should purchase a portafilter machine. It is purely a decision of pleasure.
If you want to enjoy your espresso on your terrace at home just as you would in a cafe in Milan or Paris, you don’t care about the lack of space or the higher purchase costs. If, on the other hand, you just need a quick dose of caffeine in the morning, you’ll be happy with a fully automatic coffee maker.